Organisers gearing up for Shetland’s fourth Relay for Life

Preparations are already underway for the next Relay for Life, which will be held at Clickimin on 26th May 2012 to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

This will be Shetland’s fourth such event. It is held in alternate years and has become a firmly fixed occasion in the local calendar.

Each time it has become bigger and better, with more teams taking part with their members taking it in turn to make circuits of the running track, more entertainment, more fun for everyone and, of course, more money raised. Cancer Research UK (CRUK) was astounded by the record-breaking amount of money raised for the charity in 2010, £227,000, and so were local organisers and participants.

That relay broke another record too: 133 teams took part. These teams comprised thousands of people from all over Shetland who took to the running track to raise money through sponsorship and donations.

But part of the reason the event was so successful financially was that teams were encouraged to do other fund-raising events in the run up to the event. This, it is hoped, will happen again.

In a recent newsletter to the 2010 team captains, committee chairwoman Olive MacLeod said: “I hope that many of the teams from last time will reform and support us once more. What a magnificent amount was raised in 2010 – absolutely unbelievable. It was all down to you and your teams and that was recognised by CRUK when they awarded the Shetland Relay for Life the Flame of Hope award for fund-raising in the community. Please remember that every single pound counts so don’t worry about how much you raise, it all helps in the fight against cancer and that is why we are doing this all over again! I look forward to seeing you on 26th May next year and thank you in advance for your support and commitment to such a very worthwhile cause.”

The 2012 Relay for Life will take the same format as in previous years, starting at 8pm on Saturday 26th May. Team members will walk in relays to cover the 12 hours through until 8am on Sunday 27th May. The night will feature the poignant “Candle of Hope” ceremony, which is an opportunity to remember loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer, but also to celebrate those who have survived the disease.

It is hoped to have live music going on all night, plus the usual barbecue and tea tent. The last Relay had a fund-raising gala during the afternoon of the relay day, and the committee would like to do this again.

Meanwhile committee members are planning a few fund-raising events themselves, with a Quiz and a Dance planned in the Lerwick Legion on two nights, 21st January and 25th February.

Work has also started on planning for “Shetland’s Got Talent 2012”, the final of which will be held in the Garrison Theatre on Saturday 21st April. It is hoped there will be enough talented entrants this year to merit having a few heats prior to the main event. Entry forms will be available very soon. Committee members will be at the Co-op and Tesco on 14th January to advertise the event and provide information for those who would like to take part. This coincides with CRUK’s Relay for Life website re-opening for team registration in mid-January.

An open meeting is also proposed on Thursday 23rd February. It is hoped that Louise Robertson, senior relay development officer for CRUK, will be able to attend to answer any questions people may have.

If you would like to learn more about the relay in the meantime, you can phone chairwoman Olive MacLeod on (01595) 693912 or email


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